Plastic Park, Peel, P Peel
Artistic rendering of Plastic Park. Credit: Peel NRE

Peel submits £165m Plastic Park plans

Julia Hatmaker

If approved, the facilities near Ellesmere Port will be able to recycle 367,500 tonnes of plastic.

Peel NRE, a subsidiary of Peel L&P, has fleshed out its vision for the innovative development at Protos. Already two aspects of Plastic Park have secured planning consent: a plastic-to-hydrogen facility and a recycling plant for food and beverage packaging. Now, Peel NRE wants to add five more aspects to the park:

  • Materials Recycling Facility: This will separate dry mixed recycling materials into different waste streams for recycling.
  • Plastics Recycling Facility One: This facility will take the plastic from the MRF and separate the waste into specific plastic types. Depending on the kind of plastic it is, the materials will either be sent to the second plastics recycling facility or to the recycling facility for food and beverage packaging.
  • Plastics Recycling Facility Two: This second plastics recycling facility will take the pre-sorted plastic from the first one, wash it and process it into a flaked plastic form that can be used to make new plastic products.
  • Polymer Laminate Recycling Facility: This will heat up plastic waste, such as crisp packets and baby food pouches. Once heated, the facility will break the plastic down into an oil that can be used to manufacture new products.
  • Hydrogen Refueling Station: This station will take the hydrogen made from the plastic-to-hydrogen facility and use it to supply up to 1,000 kg of hydrogen per day for vehicles to use. That is enough to fuel 20 HGVs.

Peel NRE estimates that these additions to Plastic Park will save more than 190,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year when compared to a landfill.

“By clustering various treatment technologies together in one place, we can maximise the amount of plastic that can be recycled and create a circular economy in the North West,” said Richard Barker, Peel NRE’s development director.

“Over time, the flow of materials between the different facilities means vehicle movements will reduce and we will use any plastic that can’t be recycled to create hydrogen which can be used as a clean fuel for HGV’s, buses and cars,” he continued.

“This will not only create 147 jobs and address the urgent need to tackle plastic waste, it’ll also deliver significant carbon savings, helping the North West reach its ambition to be the first net zero region in the UK.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council is expected to make a decision on Peel NRE’s application in early 2022.

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If this all works, this looks like good news for the environment. Better than our plastic waste being shipped abroad to be dumped or burned (so I’ve heard…).
‘Reduce’ in the first place is a better strategy, but this reuse / recycle is a good back-up.

By Steve B